Although I am still in denial about it, I had to leave my personal paradise in Vermont this morning. Right away, the lack of mountains that peak out from the tops of trees in every view and the loud influx of noise that contrasts with the quiet of the farm are overwhelmingly apparent. As I drove my last two miles from the kitchen to the end of the farm, I waved goodbye to the lamb and calves that blissfully roam through the pastures on the way out, wishing I could stay amongst them for at least a little longer. Letting go of this setting is difficult, but saying goodbye to the kitchen and the crew was the hardest part. We’re a family that has lived and cooked together every day for the past four months without taking much time to stop and notice how far we’ve come. For our last day of work, we had a large wedding party that rented out the entire inn. It felt like the crescendo of our summer of training and our last chance to hit the ground running with all we’ve learned. We set up in an assembly line style, revving each other up to make this day the best yet. Even the clean-up portion afterward made me choke up with the realization that this was the last time I would be polishing this stainless steel and sweeping these floors for this summer. I say for this summer because I am almost positive I will be applying to work here again after I graduate from the CIA in the spring. I have more to learn from Chef John and from the lands of Shelburne Farms.